Eddie Jones: England’s players don’t know how good they can be


ngland boss Eddie Jones has told his players they need to realise just how good they can be as a side.

England bounced back from a Six Nations opening defeat to Scotland to beat Italy 41-18 on Saturday and get their tournament ambitions back on track.

It proved a far more attacking performance but still left question marks over how they might fare against stronger opposition.

And Jones said his side had yet to reach their peak and needed to be both more clinical and improve their set pieces for round three against Wales in two weekends time.

He said: “What an honest and hardworking group of players we’ve got who want to play good positive rugby for England. They don’t know how good they can be.”

England ran in six tries in all, four of them coming from a back three who had been virtually invisible in the opening hour against the Scots.

Despite the high try count, Jones warned England would need to be more accomplished at the Principality Stadium.

“We’d like our set pieces to be more dominant and we’d like to be better at taking our opportunities when we create them,” he said. “That’s the two areas we’ll work on and get a game plan for Wales.

“It’s about good practice, about every player being on the same page and being able to take the opportunities. There’s nothing wrong with the skills or abilities of the players. Sometimes little indecisions can cause the attack not to be as sharp as it should be.”

England were boosted by the return of Kyle Sinckler, who put in a man of the match performance for his country having sat out the Scotland game following a ban for swearing at a referee.

And the England prop said: “I feel we’re ticking along nicely but I think we understand we’re nowhere near where we want to be. There’s so much growth left in this group. We need to keep pushing each other every day. We’ve got everything in place. We know what we can do, we just have to put it out on the field.”

Meanwhile, England are continuing to assess Jack Willis’ knee injury sustained in the second half. Early reports suggested the Wasps back-row forward had not suffered an ACL injury but that he still faced a lengthy lay-off.

“I’m truly gutted with the way it ended on Saturday but these things happen. I will give everything I can to my rehab to come back a better and stronger player. Thank you so much for all the messages and support I’ve received. It really is appreciated. I will be back.”

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